Welcome to Desert Island Books, a weekly series where I speak to authors, writers and journalists about the eight books they’d take with them to a desert island and why.
This week my guest is Iman Hariri-Kia, a writer, editor, and author born and based in New York City. A recipient of the Annabelle Bonner medal and a nationally acclaimed journalist, she covers sex, relationships, identity, and adolescence. Iman’s work has appeared in Vogue, Teen Vogue, Cosmo, Nylon, Bustle, and more. Her debut novel, A Hundred Other Girls, was published in July 2022 to critical acclaim.
If you’d like to buy Iman’s debut novel, A Hundred Other Girls, please consider doing so from Bookshop.org – an online bookselling platform specifically designed for the benefit of independent bookshops. You can follow Iman on Instagram here, on TikTok here, and you can subscribe to her newsletter here.
The Princess Diaries by Meg Cabot
The Princess Diaries series got me into reading and Meg Cabot’s writing style has hugely influenced my own, from the stream of consciousness narration to the pop culture and technology references. For me, this series is a timeless classic and a comfort read.
I Feel Bad About My Neck by Nora Ephron
Nora Ephron is one my favorite writers of all time. She so simply captures the pure hilarity of the female condition, and this book of essays perfectly encapsulates so much of how I feel about my body, writing, New York, and more. It also contains one of my favorite quotes: “I write a magazine article about having small breasts. I am now a writer.”
Slouching Towards Bethlehem by Joan Didion
Similarly to Ephron, Joan Didion always reframes the way that I see the world and my own experiences of femininity. The way she writes, as the ultimate observer, moving in and out of humanity but never directly interacting with it, soothes my soul. I also find her essay on keeping a journal a comfortable kick in the bum.
Beach Read by Emily Henry
I’m a huge fan of Emily Henry’s writing and Beach Read is one of the books that got me back into reading after an incredibly long slump. Gus Everett is my number one book boyfriend and I’ll need him to get through my stay on the Island.
Seven Days In June by Tia Williams
This might be my favorite romance read of the year. I absolutely adore devouring books about writers and love and this one was so beautifully written, I could feel the aching longing on every page. I can’t recommend it enough.
Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi
Especially now, the entire world (myself included) could benefit from returning to Marjane Satrapi’s groundbreaking graphic novel about the Iranian revolution and one young Iranian girl who gets stuck in the diaspora.
Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
I know everybody thinks that they’re a Jo, but I actually am a Jo. I swear.
It Happened One Summer by Tessa Bailey
If I’m going to be stuck all alone on this Island for God knows how long, I’m going to need some well written, plot-driven smut.